A couple of mornings ago I again saw the infomercial for the slicer-dicer I almost bought a week earlier. I decided to buy it. It's called the Something Chopper. Miracle Chopper or some other meaningless adjective. I'll just call it The Chopper.
So I call the toll free number and some young woman answers. We go through the name and address bit and then it starts. For an extra $15 I can get another Chopper. I say no. She starts to enthuse. And today, if I buy two I get a third free. I say no. Well, for an extra $50 I can get the blender attachment. I not only say no, I say I don't want any other offer as yet unheard. In that case, I'm told, she has to get her supervisor to okay skipping whatever other junk they were trying to load me down with.
The supervisor comes on, affirms that I wish to eschew further offers, and hands me back to the original operator.
Now, this Chopper is supposed to have five different colored activation switches available. They're pretty large switches. I say I want yellow. The operator tells me that there's a three month wait for anything but white. I ask why. I'm told it's because there's such a huge demand for the product. So I ask why they're running infomercials for something they aren't able to provide. Why don't they have some inventory on hand before they advertise? No satisfactory answer.
Then the killer. The plain white one will take four to eight weeks to deliver. Huh? The order is being processed virtually as we speak but I have to wait a month or two for delivery? And if I want to hold out for yellow will that add three more months to the delay, making a total of five months before I get this damn thing? I mean, all I want to do is chop a few onions.
In the end I said go ahead and send the damn thing.
I doubt I'll ever order anything from a TV ad again. Not even Girls Gone Wild. And people wonder why I'm a curmudgeon.
Yesterday was a hassle. I noticed we had messages on our voice mail so I listened in. They consisted of three pests "returning" my wife's internet application for a home refinance deal. What really annoys me is that there's no way to eliminate these messages until they've played out, and one of those people ran off at the mouth for a long time. And I knew that Linda never made any such applications.
All day long the calls kept coming, however. The first few I gave my usual crazy man rant to, but after a bit I got to wondering why, all of a sudden, did these companies think Linda was interested in their product (which included a long distance outfit and Phoenix On Line College). So I started asking them where they got our number. None of the answers were satisfactory, and some were obvious lies, but they all promised to remove us from their sucker lists.
What has me scratching my head is who got Linda's name into these data bases to start with. My best guess is The National Wildlife Federation. A month or two back Linda foolishly sent them a few dollars. Since then we've gotten solicitations almost daily begging for more. The general tenor of these solicitations is that if we don't clean out our bank accounts and send them everything we have NOW, all animal life on the planet will die by Tuesday. I'm to the point of wishing they would die off just so the National Wildlife Federation would get off our backs.
Of course, NWF may be innocent. Perhaps some brat at the school where she teaches signed her up for these offers. Maybe the state driver's license people sold her name. Maybe her recent membership to Pure Fitness was the villain. I suppose I'll never know, which is one of the frustrating things about modern life. It seems like anyone can invade your home, upset your privacy, and waste your time with complete impunity. Great thing, this modern life.